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Sympathy for the Devil– Pic of the Week

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This post contains research contributed by Ilya Dines.

In the Law Library, we are working to make our rare books collection more widely available via blog posts and digitization, so that it can be found and used by researchers and the public. Some aspects of these materials are mainly noticed by historians, legal scholars, philosophers, and scholars who study books and manuscripts. Other aspects are a bit more puckish and can be appreciated by anyone who has labored at schoolwork.

                     Devil in margin of Johannes Auerbach’s Processus iudiciarius (1492). [photo by Ilya Dines]

Marginalia are often seen in manuscripts and incunabula. Some marginalia are glosses, diagrams, or notes; some are pen trials; and some are the doodles of the struggling scholar. In the image above, it seems like some bedeviled law student decided to vent by drawing the manifestation of his feelings—a horned mischievous devil—and it serves the dual purpose of highlighting a portion of missing text, and as a memory aid for an important portion of the text.

LAW <Incun. 1492 .A1072> Auerbach, Johannes, active 15th century. Processus iudiciarius. GOFF A-1211

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